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Summer break is long, and although Summer camps can be a great solution by giving your children exciting learning experiences, the costs can add up quickly. If you are looking for a more budget-friendly way to achieve the same benefits that a day camp provides, you might want to consider teaming up with other parents and putting together a DIY Day Camp!

How it works:

Join forces with other parents to provide a day camp by each taking the kids for a day. Five is the ideal number of parents involved, with one child each. This way you have an entire week taken care of and are just responsible for the kids for one day.

Planning: Discuss with the other parents details regarding drop-off and pick-up time, packed or provided lunches, and possible themes. Be sure to find out about each child’s abilities, allergies and soft spots.

Choose the activities: Parents can choose their activities based on their skill level or tolerance for mess. Some suggestions include outdoor games, arts and crafts, music and dance, gardening, cooking and baking, science projects, story time and of course, lunchtime. Other options include teaching a new skill like how to sew on a button. If your group is small, you might also consider a short field trip. Of course, if it’s sunny and hot just turning the sprinkler on might be all you need to do.  

Don’t get too hung up on following the itinerary, depending on the ages of the children they may just want to have free play time. But planning ahead can save you if the group is bored so have the activities available and see what interests them.

Here is a suggested itinerary:

9:00 am Drop Off, general playtime

9:45 Skill building activity

10:30 Snack Time

11:00 Craft

12:30 Lunch

1:00 Playtime

2:00 Pick Up

Set a theme: Using a daily theme for each day of your camp will help to provide inspiration to the parents involved and tie the activities together. Some themes are western, space, superheroes, Star Wars and travel. Pinterest has endless ideas for theme-related crafts, games, and snacks.

Don’t forget to capture the memories: Take a lot of pictures of the kids at camp. You can find inexpensive photo booth printouts online and at Etsy or snap candid shots of the kids in action. Exchange the photos by email or through Facebook.

The best thing about a DIY day camp is that you can hold it with any number of parents. If you have more than five interested, split the group and mix it up over a couple of weeks. Unlike other camps, these parents will be a part of their child’s camp experience, an advantage that is priceless.

If you’re looking for ideas to fill your day of DIY day camp, consider a Geocaching treasure hunt or field trip.

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